Ten Things To Do In The Garden in January

January is a unique month in the year when plants, on the whole, demand very little from gardeners. House plants are an exception, but even these have minimal needs when light levels are low and days are short. January is the perfect month for gardeners to take stock, plan ahead, or simply take a break […]

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34 Cross Road, Walmer: A Garden For All Senses

Living and gardening by the coast, I find my senses become attuned to a very specific set of sensations: the sound of seagulls, restless wind and tourists dispossessed of their volume control; the smell of seaweed and fish and chips; the feel of salt in my hair and sun on my cheeks. So when I […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Erigeron glaucus (beach aster)

The recipe for a classic seaside garden is as tried and tested as that for the most British of cakes, a Victoria Sandwich. Take a sheet of tightly mown lawn, add a fringe of hydrangeas (preferably blue) and spike with a handful of cordylines (Cordyline australis). Add phormiums (a modern twist) or agapanthus to taste and then […]

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Primrose Blue

You’ve all heard of primrose yellow, but let me introduce you to primrose blue. As a flower colour blue is something of acquired taste, especially when it doesn’t come naturally. Could there be anything more abhorrent than a blue rose, a turquoise chrysanthemum (please note Tesco cut flower buyer) or, worse still, a sapphire orchid? And […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Iris reticulata ‘Sheila Ann Germaney’

For two years in a row I have waxed lyrical about Iris ‘Katherine Hodgkin’, a reticulated hybrid with bleached denim-blue flowers that remind me of the ghastly jeans I cherished in the 80s. This year, for a change, I thought I would try out a sister cultivar, Iris ‘Sheila Ann Germaney’, to see if I could spot the difference. […]

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Chelsea Flower Show 2014 – My Top 10 Plants

Despite the inevitable fuss over the show gardens, the highlight of my visit to Chelsea Flower Show is always the Great Pavilion. At 12,000 square metres, about the same size as two football pitches, it dominates the show ground. It’s here that many of the greatest nurserymen and horticultural organisations showcase their latest discoveries and cutting-edge projects; […]

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Daily Flower Candy – An Unknown Auricula

I am falling ever further behind with my list of posts to write, which on balance is a lot better than having nothing to say for myself. My last visit to Sissinghurst remains in draft, as does a report on the Cornwall Spring Flower Show. This week we’ve been to Tresco in the Isles of Scilly, […]

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Daily Flower Candy – Anemone apennina

The last time I had a full week away from work was last August, so I am, in a word, exhausted. Our forthcoming break in Cornwall is so keenly anticipated that I am afraid it may have rather too much to live up to. At least the inevitable dose of tonsillitis, which normally afflicts me the moment I start to […]

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Daily Flower Candy: Hepatica transsilvanica

Just like snowdrops, hepaticas have recently developed something of a cult following in the UK. A fascination with these diminutive members of the buttercup family is nothing new; the Japanese have been coveting them since the early 18th century. Intense hybridisation since then means there are now over 650 named varieties displaying all manner of […]

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2014 RHS London Plant and Design Show – Highlights

Those of you who look in on The Frustrated Gardener regularly will know that I treasure my little jaunts from my place of work to the RHS London shows. I rarely break for lunch, let alone horticultural indulgence, so these occasions are indelibly inked into my diary with clear instructions to ‘KEEP CLEAR!’ This year’s […]

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